SARTELL -- Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says the district will be in good hands when he retires at the end of the school year.

Mounds View Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Ridlehoover will take over as superintendent on July 1st.

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Schwiebert says Ridlehoover has worked his way up the ranks throughout his career and is ready for this new opportunity.

I think he will hit the ground running. He knows what's going on in the area. He's been a high school principal and has worked his way up into the assistant superintendent role. I think he's ready to come and do great things for the district.

While they are both focused on finishing up the school year within their current districts, Schwiebert says they have been in touch to help make this a smooth transition.

He says one of his remaining goals before the end of the school year is to present the board with the results of the Equity Audit.

I think we need to figure out where that is. Yes, Ridlehoover is going to deal with more of the ramifications of it, but I think we still need to make public the results of the audit, how those things work and what the board will do with the information.

Schwiebert says they are also monitoring the slow rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area and across the state.

As of Thursday the district has had 5 positive cases among students, and with Spring break starting next week, it's possible that number could rise.

Schwiebert says at this point they are not planning to have students quarantine if they travel over the break.

I know some metro areas have said they are going to take an extra week off. We don't see the benefit, with as much mixing between our communities, to doing that. We are in a wait and see mode in what county health and state public health tell us we need to do next.

Schwiebert says a big difference in why they closed schools during the November surge was due to the lack of teachers. He says with their staff fully vaccinated they feel that won't be an issue this time around.

As for prom and graduation, Schwiebert says they are continuing to plan for the return of both events, but that's dependent on what the pandemic looks like at that time.


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